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The Halogen Bromine and Swimming Pools

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How has the Halogen Bromine, been used to protect swimming pools?

The Halogen Bromine (Atomic number: 35, Atomic weight: 79.9) is the only non-metallic element that’s state is liquid at room temperature . Bromine, produced firstly by Carl Lowig, was not associated with him as even though he was believed to have first created the element his student life took priority giving Antoine-Jérôme Balard another chemist, enough time to discover Bromine for himself and publish a paper in 1826 discussing his findings. It was Balard who was credited with the discovery and thus named the chemical Bromos, “stench” in Greek.

The reddish-brown element (also giving of a very strong odour not dissimilar to that of chlorine) is obtained from sea water and some brine mixtures – that have been left from the production of potassium salts. This process of obtaining bromine starts when Bromine in water is oxidised by chlorine - above the boiling point of Bromine - in order to create Bromine gas or Br2.

2Br + Cl2 → Br2 + 2Cl ( )

This produces a mixture of both Bromine and Chlorine gasses, separating when the mixture cools to a point when Bromine liquefies yet chlorine (still above it’s boiling point) stays as a gas. If extra purification is needed, the Bromine Gas can be mixed with sulphur dioxide. Then, after it is run through a cylinder (with running water falling in the opposite direction) both gasses react with the water to produce hydro bromic acids and sulphuric acids.

SO2+ Br2 + H2O → 2HBr+ H2SO4 ( )

A Primary use of bromine is in the engineering of pharmaceuticals. Brominated substances are key components in many “over-the-counter” but also prescription drugs . These include various sedatives and antihistamines (a form of prote...

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